Bhutan is the last Himalayan kingdom, shrouded in amazing snow Peak Mountains and shadowy forests that create picturesque landscape. But that’s not all; the unique and best thing about Bhutan is that it is the only country that is 72% covered in forests making it not only carbon-neutral but the world’s only carbon negative country. Apart from this, Bhutan is a place where traditional Buddhist culture meets majestic fortress like dzongs and monasteries, it is undoubtedly a magical and mystical place to be. Its unique monastic architecture and the graffiti on the walls that bear paintings of penises as a sign to drive away the evil make Bhutan a sui generis destination. Reputed to be the last Shangri La, this one of its kind country is certainly the best place to visit for family vacation, honeymoon tours and even for adventure holidays. And to be a part of this enthralling place you can have your own share of Bhutan experience through this guided list of the top tourist attractions that you must see and do.
Here is a list of some beautiful tourist places in Bhutan that you cannot miss out on:-
Rinpung Dzong is a beautiful dzong (fort), with towering walls, built in the 16th century. Known as the Fortress on a Heap of Jewels, Rinpung Dzong is among the best tourist places in Bhutan and a classic example of Bhutanese architecture and deep rooted traditions.
Located at an altitude of about 3,989 meters, Chele La pass is among the popular places to see in Bhutan. The magnificent pass is en-route the Haa Valley in Paro.
Key attractions: Magnificent panoramic view of the valleys, gushing waterfalls, alpine flowers, and clouds drifting above the hills
Punakha Dzong is the second largest dzong in Bhutan and is known for its brilliant structure. Among the popular tourist places in Bhutan, the dzong speaks volumes about the beautiful stories and traditions of the Buddhist culture.
Key attractions: The intricate paintings and the architecture of the fort, sacred relics of the southern Drukpa Lineage of Kagyu school of Tibetan Buddhism, and the sacred remains of Ngawang Namgyal and the tertön Pema Lingpa.
The Buddha Dordenma Statue is a 169 feet tall statue of Buddha, built at the foot of the hills in Thimphu. This iconic gold and bronze statue is visible from almost anywhere in Thimphu and is among the popular Bhutan tourist places.
Key attractions: The 169 feet tall Buddha statue, thousands of smaller bronze and gold statues of Lord Buddha, and the surrounding Kuensel Phodrang nature park
Dochula Pass is a beautiful pass consisting of 108 Chortens or Stupas, built in the memory of the Bhutanese soldiers who died in a war against the insurgents from India. The beautifully built temple and stupas, with the picturesque Gangkar Puensum peak in the background, makes the Dochula Pass one of the best tourist places in Bhutan.
Key attractions: Panoramic view that gives a glimpse of the peak of the sacred Himalayan mountain – Chomolhari, Druk Wangyal Lhakhang temple, and the fusion paintings on the temple walls
Tiger’s Nest or Taktsang Monastery is one of the most popular Bhutan tourist places in Paro, known for the beautiful and the sacred monastery of guru Rinpoche. It is considered as a place of pilgrimage and is an easy half trek, which gives you the panoramic views of the Paro valleys.
Key attractions: The tiger’s nest, the cave temple inside the monastery, the majestic views, and the many small temples inside the premises of the monastery
Phobjikha is a small town in the central part of Bhutan. Like many other beautiful places to see in Bhutan, Phobjikha is bestowed with valleys and is surrounded by mountains and lush greenery. The place is known for its beautiful landscapes and passes and a day’s hike will take you through the town and the woods.
Key attractions: Black-necked cranes migrate to Phobjikha from November, and the hike through the valleys to witness spectacular views of the birds and the amazing greenery
Chomolhari is among the popular Bhutan tourist spots, most popular for the its treks. Chomolhari trek, starting at Paro, is one of the most challenging treks of Bhutan. With the altitude going about 5,000 meters, it is enchanting and rewards the trekkers with blissful views after a difficult trek. The trek is truly for the adventure enthusiasts and spans between 7 – 15 days on average.
Key attractions: The glacial lakes, the snow capped mountains and splendid views of the landscapes are a treat to the eyes
The capital city is probably the most popular choice for shopaholics. The main street of Norzin Lam is filled with shops selling various items – souvenirs, woolen clothes, crafts, and the local wine. Although slightly expensive, some things are worth buying there if you’re not going further till Bumthang.
Key attractions: Textile building and the textile shops in the middle lane of Norzin Lam for buying some of the best handmade textiles, including Gho and Kira – the traditional attire of Bhutan for men and women respectively